Press Room

Weitzman School to Host Acadia 2020 Conference ‘Hybrids and Haecceities’

The Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is pleased to announce that it will host the 2020 annual Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) conference. The conference will take place on October 29-31, 2020 following a three-day series of experimental workshops on October 26-28. The event will feature keynotes by recognized leaders in the field, talks by recipients of ACADIA’s annual awards program, exhibitions of both curated and peer-reviewed work, and peer-reviewed paper and project presentations of cutting-edge research showcasing the innovative application of computational practices in architecture and design.

The conference theme, “Hybrids & Haecceities,” asks how technology enables, reflects, and challenges established disciplinary boundaries and design practices. Haecceities describes the discrete qualities or properties of objects that define them as unique, while Hybrids are entities with characteristics enhanced by the process of combining two or more elements with different properties. The conference invites contributions on how hybrids & haecceities pose new ideas and approaches to design--be they computational, material, aesthetic, robotic, genetic, biological, environmental, or theoretical.

The conference leadership includes a team of dynamic Penn faculty from the Department of Architecture under the leadership of Miller Professor and Chair Winka Dubbeldam. Serving as co-chairs are: Masoud Akbarzadeh, assistant professor of architecture and director of the Polyhedral Structures Lab; Dorit Aviv, assistant professor of architecture; Hina Jamelle, senior lecturer and director of urban housing in the Department of Architecture; Robert Stuart-Smith, assistant professor of architecture, director of the new MSD-RAS program, and director of the Autonomous Manufacturing Lab.

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ACADIA is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals. The organization facilitates critical investigations into the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education. ACADIA holds an annual conference each year in North America in conjunction with a host university. The conference, recognized internationally for the high caliber of innovative research and practice it showcases, brings together the top experts in the field of design computing for peer-reviewed presentations of papers, projects, special exhibitions, and workshops.

About the Stuart Weitzman School of Design

One of 12 schools at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, the School is committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation. With 10 degrees and 15 certificates offered, Weitzman graduate programs are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation, and serve as a platform for groundbreaking research as well as community engagement.

The call for papers will be announced in January 2020, with paper and project submissions due in May. For more info, see the ACADIA 2020 conference website: